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Emphasizer


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Audio CD, April 22, 2003
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Amazon's Garage a Trois Store

Music

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Photos

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Biography

Garage A Trois first formed in 1999, from the ashes of Mardi Gras, as a trio featuring Charlie Hunter, Stanton Moore and Skerik. They later added Mike Dillon to the fold. In 2007, Charlie Hunter left the band and Marco Benevento joined. The union of musical forces over the years has morphed with each incarnation to reflect the collective strength and vision of each configuration. The current ... Read more in Amazon's Garage a Trois Store

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for 5 albums, 3 photos, and 3 full streaming songs.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tone Cool
  • ASIN: B00008V5TY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #214,325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hard Headed Rio a.k.a Rio Cuca Dura
2. Sprung Monkey
3. Plena For My Grundle
4. A-Frame
5. We See
6. Interpretive Ape Dance
7. Launch
8. Gat Swamba
9. Delta Skelta
10. House of Hand Wash

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

If ever there was a genre that seemed immune from successful revival, jazz-fusion seemed a prime candidate. But this adventurous debut collaboration from veteran jazz-funksters Charlie Hunter (8-string guitar), Stanton Moore (drums), Mike Dillon (vibes, Percussion,) and Skerik (sax) does more than breath new life into fusion; it imparts it a nervous, electric economy and much-needed tongue-in-cheek sense of mischief. It's no mean feat for players to stretch out as all parties do here, yet maintain a cohesive interplay that's at once focused and musically dynamic. Hunter's compositions "Plena for My Grundle" and "Gat Swamba" evoke vintage jazz Cubano in one corner, while his playing on the squealing, squawking group workouts "A-Frame" and "Delta Skelta" leans on a wholly different sense of aggro-experimentalism. Elsewhere, Stanton's insistent rhythms powers "Interpretive Ape Dance" and the free-for-all "Launch," saxophonist Skerik offers up a savory time out with the bluesy languor of "We See," and Dillon's percussion showcase "House of Hand Wash" conjures a shotgun marriage of Asian motifs and Western minimalism. It's the sort of hip jazz-funk contemporary DJ/mixers like David Holmes struggle to coax from their turntables and samples, but made endlessly more compelling here by four real, live musicians--and one unified, playful spirit. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "treestamp" on June 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
A few years back, drummer Stanton Moore teamed up with guitarist Charlie Hunter and saxophonist Sherik to record his first solo album, and the sessions resulted in both a solo album (All Kooked Out!) and a new band, Garage a Trois. Previously, their only release was a vinyl EP which no one I know has heard. So lucky for us who don't have functioning turntables, they recorded again and released it as a full length CD this time around, although they're no longer a threesome, as Mike Dillon, Sherik's multi-percusionist pal from Critters Buggin, has joined up with them.
I would've found this album worth my time if only to hear these particular musicians play, as they are a blessed bunch talentwise, but to my good fortune, I found this CD had more to offer musically than just an opportunity for four guys to demo their chops. Although earthy, loose funk-jazz is Garage a Trois' starting point (which they do very well), they don't limit themselves to just that. The latin grooves of "GAT Swamba" and "Plena for My Grundle," the asiatic marimba piece "House of Hand Wash," and the tribal percussion cadences and weird Middle Eastern melody of "Interpretive Ape Dance" demonstrate that this band has no intention of being an one trick pony. And although some tracks, in my opinion, could have been better -- the slick funk of "A-Frame" could be a bit dirtier, the electro-rock-blues of "Delta Skelta" a bit less conventional, and their rendition of Monk's lyrical "We See" less reverent -- nothing on this disc could be considered filler. Everything they do, they seem to strive to do well and in good taste.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on October 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
. . . is that the lads'll try anything. The thing I don't like about it is that it's so dang hard to get it to play properly in my Windows Media Player. See, it's one of those enhanced discs, and it never seems to load without crashing my system. OK, I've probably got a dinosaur computer and a media player that's three generations old. But it's still annoying.
But it's all worth the effort. Garage a Trois is the future of jazz. Hip without being smug; multilingual sans carpetbagging; able to leap tall styles in a single bound. Proof: "Sprung Monkey." You're in Cumbia-land gone berserk, but it all makes sense. And the vibe continues unabated with "Plena for my Grundle" (great faux-Latinesque meaningless title with huge evocativeness). "A-Frame," the next cut, is pschedelic funk on uppers. Very groovy, and very scary. Charlie Hunter's wah-wah guitar scintillates. Indeed, Hunter stands tall throughout. He seems to have found the ideal context for his eight-string, bass/guitar hybrid. And Stanton Moore rules. The free-flowing vibe seems to enable him to unleash his most creative and percussive drumming. He's never sounded so good (check out his playing on "Get Swamba").
It's a mistake to think of this as a funk record, in my view. There're just too many other styles in play: garage, groove, psychedelic, free jazz, R&B, Latin, East Indian, lounge, Delta blues, gamelon, surf, to name just a few. What amazes is their ability to speak in all these cultural tongues with such glibness and spunk without sounding in the least stilted or inappropriately virtuostic: They're basically just having fun (albeit at a stratospheric level). And so will the listener.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This CD doesn't really represent what these guys do live, but it has some interesting moments. My complaint is at 42 minutes (plus CD-rom capabilities with video) it's much to short. These guys play 3hour shows with endless upbeat jams, and the tunes here are in the 3-4 minute range and more subdued.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Just as it is great advice for those looking to buy classic jazz to buy KINDA BLUE and then buy all the albums by the players on that album, and then the albums of all of the sidemen on those albums and so on and so on, it is equally good advice to buy this album and do the same. Emphasizer strikes me as a great representation of where modern groove jazz has come to, performed by some of the players most responsible for bringing it here. I think it is a milestone album for the genre and don't think any fan of the musicians involved will be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Lux on April 19, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I caught the last half of Sprung Monkey on the radio recently. I had never heard of the band before. I thought it had a funk/New Orleans feel. I bought Emphasizer after sampling the other tracks. I'm impressed with the music. Very good jazz with a little funk mixed in sometimes.

My 13 year old likes a couple of the more upbeat tracks (Interpretive Ape Dance, Plena for My Grundle), my wife likes it as "background" music. I find myslef listening to it over and over. And digging it more each time.

Sure, there's a track or two that leave me flat. But when a band is this diverse, that's to be expected.

Good stuff.
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